Frauds & Scams, Medicare

Don’t Be Misled by False Medicare or Social Security Ads

August 16, 2018 • By

Reading Time: 1 Minute

Last Updated: June 30, 2021

person on latptopOnline and otherwise, there’s a lot of information out there, and sometimes it’s difficult to tell what sources are credible. With millions of people relying on Social Security, scammers target audiences who are looking for program and benefit information.

The law that addresses misleading Social Security and Medicare advertising prohibits people or non-government businesses from using words or emblems that mislead others. Their advertising can’t lead people to believe that they represent, are somehow affiliated with, or endorsed or approved by Social Security or the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (Medicare).

People are often misled by advertisers who use the terms “Social Security” or “Medicare.” Often, these companies offer Social Security services for a fee, even though the same services are available directly from Social Security free of charge. These services include getting:

  • A corrected Social Security card showing a person’s married name;
  • A Social Security card to replace a lost card;
  • A Social Security Statement; and
  • A Social Security number for a child.

If you receive misleading information about Social Security, send the complete ad, including the envelope, to:

Office of the Inspector General Fraud Hotline
Social Security Administration
P.O. Box 17768
Baltimore, MD 21235

You can learn more about how we combat fraudulent advertisers by reading our publication What You Need to Know About Misleading Advertising.

You can also report Social Security fraud to the Office of the Inspector General.

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About the Author

Jim Borland, Acting Deputy Commissioner for Communications

Jim Borland, Acting Deputy Commissioner for Communications


  1. Joanne G.

    Is it OK to give the last 4 digits of your SS#?

    • Luis A.

      Hi Joanne. We ask everyone not to write any personal information on this, or any other forum. If you have a specific question you would like to ask, please contact your local Social Security office, or call our toll-free number at 1-800-772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778), Monday through Friday, between 7:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m. for further assistance. We hope this helps.

      • J F.

        On July 25, 2019, a Steven W. Norris, posted his email and home address, along with his telephone number on this website. It appears just above this person that you posted an answer to. Steven apparently did not realize that he was posting this info for all the world to see.

  2. Delores W.

    Can a woman draw Social Security from her husband when she is 62 and then when she reaches full retirement age draw from her earnings record?

  3. Steven W.

    I received a call from NTI at home. The voice mail said the work with people like myself on SSID to train to work at home. Is this company approved by the Social Security Administration ?
    Thank You
    Steven W Norris
    Email Option “
    661 448 9130
    223 E Moneta Ave
    Bakersfield,Ca. 93308

  4. Nancy

    My mom was getting calls from someone saying they were from medicare. She gave them her social security number. The wanted her Medicare card ID also. Fortunately she didn’t have her card. What should we do?

    • Ann C.

      Hi, Nancy. If your mother suspects someone is using her Social Security number, she should go to and report the theft to the Federal Trade Commission or call 1-877-IDTHEFT (1-877-438-4338). In addition, she can order free credit reports annually from the three major credit bureaus (Equifax, Experian and Trans Union). To order her credit report, she can go to or call 1-877-322-8228. For more information, check out our publication, Identity Theft And Your Social Security Number. We hope this is helpful.

  5. Roberto G.

    We have received numerous phone calls from persons claiming to be from Medicare. They first ask if we received the new medicare card and want us to confirm by giving them the number in the card. Supposedly, they will activate other benefits we are entitled, such as medical devices or equipment. They have some personal information (full names and even the birth date), but we have not provided any at all. Is it a scam?

  6. Terence M.

    Thank you for the help, I will be attendting a Medicare information meeting in Windermere FL tomorow at 1 pm.

    I turn 65 on July 1st so I want to be ready.

  7. Audrey F.

    Do I have to take medicare at 65 or will I be penalized. I will be on my husbands insurance for another year. Do I have to still sign up for it at 65 if I have our own insurance. Thank you Audrey

    • Ann C.

      Hi, Aubrey. Individuals receiving Social Security retirement benefits, will be automatically enrolled in Medicare Hospital Insurance (Part A) and Medical Insurance (Part B) at age 65. However, a beneficiary may refuse Medicare Part B, during his or her Initial Enrollment Period, if that beneficiary or the spouse, actively works and has coverage under a group health plan, based on that employment, then he or she doesn’t need Medicare part B until the work activity ends or that health care coverage is dropped. We always suggest that individuals speak to their personnel office, health benefits advisor, or health plan representative to see what’s best for them, and to prevent any penalties or delayed enrollment in the future. Please contact your local Social Security office for further assistance or call our toll-free number at 1-800-772-1213. Representatives are available Monday through Friday, between 7:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m. Thanks!

  8. Robert L.

    I thought Humana was working as my medicare,but I am still charged a monthly fee for medicare. Please help me understand,

    • Ann C.

      Hi, Robert. Unfortunately, your question is a bit more complex than we can handle in this forum. For your security, we do not have access to private information in this venue. To get additional information on Medicare benefits, check out You may also wish to contact your local Medicare SHIP (State Health Insurance Program Coordinator) to discuss your situation. We hope this helps.

  9. Charles E.

    Q Link cut out my Cell phone service after I bought a 25.00 replacement phone. Now they listed me as Dead and directed me to call social security who will not answer the phone and played a message for me to call some other time. Q-Link then says they don’t cover my zip code (I’m not dead but my cemetery plot will be in the same zip code) Who is screwing around with my ss info???

    • Vonda V.

      Thank you for contacting us, Charles. Unfortunately, and because of security reasons, we do not have access to personal records in this blog and cannot assist you.

      To inquire about your Social Security record, you will have to contact your local office or call our toll-free number at 1-800-772-1213. Representatives are available Monday through Friday, between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m.

  10. Deborah M.

    I’ve tried many times to pull up my account it worked last year nothing’s been changed but I can’t even sign in. I need a benefit verification letter or my lights get cut off in 2 days. I tried to call they said I had a 1 hour wait. What’s up with that our as a isn’t what it use to be

Comments are closed.